Central Team

Antonio Rodriguez

António Rodrigues​

António Rodrigues is the Project Manager of the Assistance Mechanism for the Atlantic Action Plan. António is PwC Portugal's Strategy & Corporate Finance Advisor Partner, the Lead Partner in Restructuring Advisory and a member of the PwC Blue Economy Centre of Excellence.  In his carreer, António has developed and implemented several projects related to maritime industries for Ports authorities (business plan and economic and financial feasibility study), offshore energy companies (financial advisory and feasibility studies), cargo container operators.  More specifically, he has advised in the preparation of the business plan and economic and financial feasibility study of the cruise activity in the Port of Leixões for the launch of a future concession.  António studied Economics at the Economics Faculty of the University of Porto, participated in Client´s Strategic Agenda Program from INSEAD - Fontainebleau, the Advanced Restructuring Executive Program in INSEAD - Singapore, Business Management Executive Program in Nova-Católica and Leadership and Strategy Executive Program from Kellogg School of Management.  He speaks Portoguese and English fluently.


Catherine Frideres

Catherine Frideres

Catherine Frideres is the Communications Expert of the Assistance Mechanism. Catherine is a Senior Manager at PwC Luxembourg Advisory and PwC's Accelerator. She is an entrepreneur and communications specialist with 20 years combined experience in cross-cultural communications, business acceleration coaching and in managing international projects for the public and private sectors.  Over the years, she has successfully extended public awareness of EU programmes to over 3 million European SMEs, led acceleration coaching for over 2,500 SMEs across 9 industry sectors, and managed public sector projects for trade and sustainable economic development.  She has significant expertise in designing narratives and building active communities through digital and social media platforms.  Catherine holds an MA International Studies & Diplomacy with a major in International Law from the University of London and speaks English fluently.


Elina Zempili

Elina Zempili 

Elina Zempili is the Monitoring Expert of the Assistance Mechanism for the Atlantic Action Plan.  Elina has over 20 years of experience in managing complex EU-funded technical assistance projects and in managing multi-national teams of experts.  Elina is a leader in the international project area, specialised on the monitoring and evaluation of development projects, and has been responsible for the identification and supervision of international and local experts for the implementation of several EU development assistance projects.She has worked extensively in several EU projects, where she has managed large multi-dimensional teams comprised of experts in the various fields of communications, public relations, community buliding, monitoring, innovation, SMEs etc.  and reported successfully to the Contracting Authorities.  She has been actively involved  in the Assistance Mechanism for the Atlantic Action Plan, holding the position of team leader since 2016.  Elina holds an MA in European Politics from Vrije Universiteit Brussels. She speaks English and Greek fluently and has a basic understanding of French.  


Leonidas Papaioannou

Leonidas Papaioannou

Leonidas Papaioannou is the National Hub Leader for the Assistance Mechanism.  Leonidas is a Director at PwC Greece, and leads the Government and Public Sector industry team, being responsible for all aspects of public sector related services.  Leonidas has significant experience in leading large-scale national or European/ international projects in areas such as policy making, public administration and market reforms, large scale transformation programs or implementation of action plans, structural funds programming and administration.  He will be responsible for the overview of the whole span of the national hub activities and quality control of their  deliverables and project outputs.  Leonidas holds a Diploma in Chemical Engineering from the National Technical University of Greece and an MBA from Hull University, UK.  He speaks English and Greek fluently.


Andre GomezAndré Gomes​

André Gomes is the PMO | Central Point of Contact for the Atlantic Assistance Mechanism. André is an MBA graduate with a technological academic background and successful experiences in top multinational companies in the private sector as well as in the public sector by collaborating with European Union institutions. He is an experienced senior strategy and operations consultant with solid experience in project management, consulting, strategy, operations and innovation.  André holds a BsC in Communication Systems from Kingston University (UK), a Postgraduate diploma in Management and Business Consulting from ISEG (Portugal) and an Executive MBA from ESIC Business & Marketing School (Spain).  He speaks English and Portoguese fluently.